On Friday, Melbourne group Slum Sociable brought their delicious electronic jazz sound for an intimate gig at Rocket Bar. Despite the rising heat and international producer, Diplo playing just a few floors below, the crowd was eager to dance to Slum Sociable’s groovy tunes. Joining them on stage was an acoustic performance from Ali Barter and a debut performance from Adelaide’s Mìo. Slum Sociable have had an impressive year, releasing their debut single Anyway in January, their debut EP TQ in October and gaining a top 5 position for their latest single All Night in the Hype Machine charts.
The first act of the night was Adelaide dreamy-pop group Mìo, playing to an excited packed room. Despite that it was their debut performance, the group had an amazing stage presence with the very charismatic vocalist Annie Siegmann captivating the crowd. Their set was filled with dark atmospheric synths, hip-hop inspired percussion and moody, dreamy pop hooks. It seemed as if the group had not really settled on a style as they bounced between dark techno sounds, ambient emotive ballads and more seductive, cheeky tracks with a heavier bass. The crowd was definitely digging the group, yelling ‘NO!’ when Siegmann announced their last song. It was obvious that Mìo has some major potential with their very tight production accompanied with an amazing vocalist, can definitely see them playing some awesome shows around Adelaide in the future.
Next was Melbourne artist, Ali Barter who had ‘ditched the boys’ and played acoustically with the help of her bassist and back-up vocalist Yuko Nishiyama. With a very laid-back intimate feel to the set, Barter showcased her unique style of indie pop and folk rock, however, performing acoustically gave a more retro-rock feel to her sound. Her set was filled with dark tones and brooding melancholy, playing tracks such as Community. However, her stage presence was lacking and left me feeling quite disappointed. Her bassist stepped off the stage as Barter performed a solo cover of Foo Fighters’ Tired of You but stopped playing as soon as the lighting guy turned down the lights as she couldn’t play ‘guitar that good.’ Barter finished her set with two songs that will appear on her upcoming album, but missing from her set was her latest upbeat single, Hypercolour, which is currently a big hit on Triple J.
The headlining act, Slum Sociable, stepped on the stage, eager to start playing before they were scheduled to start. With no introductions the group dived into their first song, filling Rocket with the sounds of their electronic jazz and subtle hip-hop tones. Vocalist, Miller Upchurch captivated the crowd with his deep soulful melodies, coined with his red tambourine as he body rolled on stage and dropped to the ground and up again at any seconds notice. Mirroring the abstract dance moves coming from the stage, members in the audience completely let go and gave their body up to the music whilst other die-hard fans enthusiastically sang the lyrics back to Slum Sociable. Upchurch states that this is their first trip to Adelaide, saying ‘we weren’t sure what to expect [from Adelaide], but you guys are fucking sick!’ Their set was filled with jazzy guitar riffs, progressive beats and hazy hip-hop vocals, performing tracks off their EP TQ with standout tracks, Anyway and Apartment. Slum Sociable finished their set with a memorable performance of their latest release All Night. Slum Sociable delivered an amazing performance that was deserving appreciated by all in the crowd.
If you missed out on Slum Sociable’s unique lo-fo jazz styling, the boys will be back on February 5th for St Jerome’s Laneway Festival with fellow Melbournian Ali Barter.
Header Image via Kate Sansome